Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Social Event of the Year

When you grow up in a small town in the Midwest, county fairs are pretty much The social event of the year. In my hometown, this still holds true. I wish people wore name tags at these things, though. I talked to so many people this week, but it is so hard to place faces and remember names when you've been gone from a town for nearly 20 years. (Note to self: 20th reunion is next year - YIKES!)

My brother, sister-in-law and my nephews and niece went up to the fair yesterday and I spent half the day debating whether or not we were going. Tuesday had been such an exhausting day in the 90+ degree heat and I didn't have much desire to go through that again so soon. Fortunately, it was a little cooler and I'm so glad we ended up making the trip. It's always nice to see the family and the kids had a great time together, as usual.

At 18-months, my nephew, Joe, has started smiling BIG for the camera. How cute is he???


Lucy & Mia - I would love to audio record these two giggling. They just crack me up! (By the way, don't Leila and Jorge look like they are up to something?)


Jorge, Lucy & Leila loving the pony rides...



Leila exiting the Fun House.

Jorge is a little thrill seeker, just like his mom. I couldn't believe the rides that he rode!! Leila is scared of heights, just like me. I asked her several times, "Are you SURE you want to ride this?"

The "Before" Picture: Jorge & Leila - all smiles


Uh oh, someone is gripping tightly.


The tears are about to begin, and as you can see from Jorge's smile and wave, it's not him. My poor girl. It really was high and she's just like her mommy. :-(


I had to capture this moment of my brother, Rob, walking with four of the kids. 20080907_16

My Dad was a 4-H Advisor and an ag lender and EVERYONE knew my father at the fair, and vice versa. Last year was a really hard year attending the fair, since it had only been a month since he passed away. I put my waterproof mascara to the test big time last year. This year was much easier than last, but there were constant reminders everywhere I looked. The bank where he worked had a booth at the fair and placed this bench in it in memory of my father. I can honestly say that I didn't shed a tear taking this photo because all I could think about was how my Dad is looking down on these five kids and smiling so proudly. His grandkids were his pride and joy and he could not have possibly loved them any more.

Family Bench 4

Have a great week!


LaLa said...

Oh, I love them ALL!!!! That smile is awesome...what a joy!! I am not a fan of heights either but Annslee is a total daredevil!!

Did you have funnel cakes and cotton candy : )

Jodee Leader said...

I can totally relate! I live in Nebraska and we love the county fair and state fair!

missy said...

What a great time at the fair!!! I love all of the big smiles, hand holding and pony rides.

Poor heart breaks for her, as Paige, too, is scared of heights. Tell her how brave I think she is...sweet girl.

I love the bench in honor of your dad. Your words really touched me and give me hope that soon I can talk about my dad without crying so much.

I know your dad was smiling down on you all!
Hugs, my friend!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Looks like a great time was had by all!!!

The pictures were fantastic.....I loved the one of your nephew, Joe....what a smile!!

The bench was just a beautiful way to honor your father....I am sure he was a special man!


Stefanie said...

What GORGEOUS pictures!! Looks like a fantastic day :) The picture of all the kids around the bench is so sweet, I am sure your dad was smiling on those beautiful babies!

ADELE said...

Oh how neat to have a section of the bank booth in your Dad's honor. I love the picture of the bench with all of the kids around it. I am sure your Dad is smiling down on them. :)
Love all of the fair pics. Looks like you all had a blast!!!

Dawn said...

Your nephew is ADORABLE!!! I LOVE the bench shot too.

a Tonggu Momma said...

As always, lovely photos. I feel like I say that EVERY TIME I comment here. But I had to say -- that bench -- what a testament to your daddy. I'm sure it felt bittersweet, but as the years pass the sweetness will overshadow everything.

Jboo said...

Great photos!! Looks like loads of fun! I couldn't have handled that ride either. Leila is so brave! Have a fun week.


Krista ~ Bits and pieces said...

YOur weekend sounds wonderful and your photos are awesome. But the one of Joe, girlfriend that is beyond precious!!!

Sharon said...

looks like a total blast!!!!
Will you tell me where you ever did find those blue ballet outfits, i am blue with envy!!!!

Cammie said...

What a great tribute to your father...surrounded by his precious grandchildren!

Truth4thejourney said...

I'm Sonya and I'm just visiting today. You have beautiful children. :)

Nice to meet you.

Felicia said...

So very cute. Such precious children and what a sweet gesture for your dad.

Julia said...

I just keep thinking of Leila on that swing - poor baby! My kids love that, but me - not so much, I feel her pain!

Heather said...

Michelle - As usual, the pictures are so great, I feel like I am there with you:)

SO sorry about the loss of your father. At least the fair brings happy memories of him.

Please tell me you had funnelcake - my absolute favorite!! And I am a daredevil and so are my kids, my husband, if it swings, twists, turns or rockets, he is out of there!!

Have a great week!

Heather said...

Michelle - As usual, the pictures are so great, I feel like I am there with you:)

SO sorry about the loss of your father. At least the fair brings happy memories of him.

Please tell me you had funnelcake - my absolute favorite!! And I am a daredevil and so are my kids, my husband, if it swings, twists, turns or rockets, he is out of there!!

Have a great week!

Don and Lisa Osborn said...

Hey Michelle~

I love that you have a close knit family that is so colorful and such a beautiful picture of the gift of adoption.

I am sorry about your dad, Michelle. I love that the grandkids posed around his bench. He surely would be proud.

Thanks for sharing this touch of nostalgia and Americana. I love how you know where you are from and that you have roots...


Michelle said...

What great pictures! My favorite is the one of the bench that was dedicated in memory of your dad with his 5 grandchildren surrounding very, very special! Also love the one of your brother walking with the 4 kids all holding hands.
And your nephew's smile is WONDERFUL...what a cutie!!!

Annette said...

What a great photo you captured of the kids around the bench in honor of your dad. Special.

Oatsvall Team said...

what a precious picture by the bench ... i am sure he was looking down very proud of his legacy ...

i have my 20 yr reunion this month ... can't believe it ... at the 10 yr reunion my oldest was only 6 weeks old and now only 10 years later I have 4 kids and 2 still to come home ... oh, the changes in 10 years !!!

Joe and Jane said...

What a sweet tribute to your dad. It's a beautiful thing that your family can get together and do something that was so meaningful to him!

Steffie B. said...

Just a stunning, beautiful family....all of you! ;)

kris said...

Glad they had fun (I'm not great with heights either but I do okay on roller coasters, if you can believe that!). Love little Joe's big smile!

Rebecca said...

Beautiful photos!! I love them! We love the fair... your pictures brought back good July memories. :)

mommy24treasures said...

oh I am sure your dad was smiling down as well.
Oh that Joe! I have a soft spot for him having my own Guatemalan sweeties, what a cute smile!!!!!!I am so glad you shared some of him as well.
Your girls look like they are having such fun!
I am glad it was a wonderful day.

Leslie said...

What a fun time guys. Wasn't it fun riding the ponies???

Your dad seemed like such a wonderful man. Love the bench.

BoufMom9 said...

How fantastic that you had a picture of all of the kids next to that bench! So sweet!
LOVE that shot of your brother with all 4 kids. TOO CUTE!!!

Shawnstribe said...

aww what a great day!!!
yourgorgeous nephew gets a lil x on his nose just like X X when she smiles : )
i love it

Tracy said...

Hi! Just stumbled upon your blog and your photos are amazing. Love your blog!

EllieNat said...

THe bench is such a great way to honor your Dad. Wonderful picture of his grandchildren....

Mom To Six said...

GREAT PICTURES!!!!! The kids (as always) are adorable and having fun. I especially love your nephew's BIG smile. So cute!

I would love to live in a small town where everyone knows each other.



Ashley and Mike said...

Oh my goodness, all of the pictures are great but I cannot get over Joe's smile in the first and last shot. His cheeks are edible!

Just found your blog. Can't wait to read more.

Becki party of 5 said...

Joe is TOOOOO cute!! But I love the picture of the kids around the bench. What a special tribute to your dad.

Ronda said...

That is so sweet-what a tribute to your dad and a treasure for your kids to remember him by.